About our Grants scheme

London Councils grants scheme was originally set up on abolition of the Greater London Council (GLC). Section 48 of the Local Government Act 1985 enabled London boroughs to fund voluntary action in the capital through a joint scheme which is now provided by London Councils. Funding is allocated in rounds: at present, London Councils’ schemes are closed for applications.

The Leaders’ Committee sets the overall funding strategies, policies, and priorities for grants to voluntary organisations. Decisions on individual commissions, funding of applications and programme operation are made by the Grants Committee comprising members of each of the 32 London boroughs and the City of London.  The programme currently has twopriorities:

  • Combatting Homelessness
  • Tackling Sexual and Domestic Violence

For more details on the project funded under the 2017-2022 programme and their outcomes, please see Grants Summaries  

London Councils recognises that by working in partnership, organisations can share ideas and best practice, widen the reach of service delivery and gain access to different funding sources.London Councils encourages partnership working as it helps us to ensure services funded by our grants programme are truly delivered pan-London.  Most of our funded projects are delivered via voluntary organisations working together in partnership, where London Councils funds a lead partner which manages the partnership, handles reporting, and is responsible for distributing funds among the delivery partners. Read more about our approach to funding proposals by a partnership of organisations.

London Councils and ESF

The European Social Fund (ESF) was set up to improve employment opportunities in the European Union and so help raise standards of living.  London Councils was a part of the London ESF programme from 2007, which was under the strategic direction of the Mayor and administered by the GLA’s European Programmes Management Unit (EPMU).  

In addition to using ESF to contribute to the grants programme detailed above, London Councils’ worked with individual boroughs (or groups of boroughs) to commission ESF projects.  For every pound a London borough contributed ESF matched it, doubling a borough’s potential investment in jobs and skills. 

For the purposes of ESF, London Councils was a Direct Bid organisation.

The ESF Programme concluded delivery in 2020.